Jesus’ Last Seven Words On the Cross & What They Mean For Us Today

Jesus' Last Seven Words On the Cross and What They Mean For Us Today (via www.jeanwilund.com) #Easter #GoodFriday

________†________

If you could control the moment you died, what would your last words be?  

Jesus controlled His. 

Let’s look at what He chose to say.

Let’s look at His last seven words on the cross and what they mean to us today.


1. Forgiveness

“Father, forgive them;
for they do not know what they are doing.”
(Luke 23:34 NASB)

Christ’s first recorded words on the cross were a prayer. But not for Himself. 

“Father, forgive them for they don’t know what they’re doing.” 

Really? They didn’t know what they were doing?

It took awhile for Christ to stumble up to Calvary in His tortured state. They had plenty of time to realize where this would end.

They drove nails through His hands and feet.

How could they not know what they were doing?

And yet . . .“Father, forgive them for they don’t know what they’re doing.”

They didn’t know because sin blinded them.

The Jewish leaders, the crowd who cried out for His crucifixion, Governor Pilate who gave the order for His death, and the Roman guards who carried out their evil desires were all blinded by sin.

If they’d truly understood what they were doing, they wouldn’t have done it.

They would’ve been too horrified.

Instead, they would’ve bowed before Jesus, not mocked, denied, and crucified Him.

What this means for us:

Like those who crucified Christ, we deny, excuse, and wink at sin. 

And just like them, we’re blind to the depths and seriousness of it.

If we saw our sin as it actually is — as God sees it — it would revolt us. We’d stay far from it. 

But we’re just as easily blinded by sin. 

Unless God opens our eyes to it, we’ll stay blind.

Ask God to help you see sin for what it is so you’ll want to stay far from its destructiveness.

Sort of like most of us wouldn’t be tempted to eat roach-filled brownies. 

Then remember how sin blinds. That way when others sin against you, even those who surely know what they’re doing, your heart will be able to forgive. Like Christ’s.

“Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they’re doing.” 

Because none of us truly do.


2. Salvation

“And He said to him, ‘Truly I say to you,
today you shall be with Me in Paradise.’”
~ Luke 23:43

Two criminals hung on the cross next to Christ. One spewed hate. The other admitted his guilt and asked Christ for mercy.  

Salvation only came to one that day.

The thief, who believed Jesus is exactly who He said He was, joined Christ in heaven that day. The other one doomed himself to hell by his unbelief. He had the same opportunity to believe but refused.

What this means for us:

As long as there is breath in our lungs, it’s not too late for us to choose to believe.

But we won’t have forever to make that choice.

Time ran out on the other criminal.

Don’t let time run out on you. Choose today while there’s still today. 


3. Compassion

“Dear woman, here is your son.”
John 19:26

The first three of Jesus’ last words were for other people. 

His concern, as He hung in agony, was for the forgiveness, salvation, and needs of others. 

Specifically the needs of His mother. Mary. 

We don’t know what happened to Joseph by this point. Most believe he must have died as he’s not mentioned in the Bible after Jesus was grown. 

As Jesus hung on the cross, and pain pierced His body, He focused on His mother and passed the responsibility of caring for her to His beloved disciple, John. 

What this means for us today:

Jesus showed us that much can be accomplished no matter our circumstances through great, selfless love for God and others.

It’s natural when we’re in pain to turn our thoughts inward. But studies have shown that when we turn our thoughts and actions toward serving others instead, our pain tolerance increases.

Jesus wasn’t trying to reduce His stress by His actions, but it’s not a bad benefit. 

Jesus also demonstrated the importance of always showing love to your mother.

Did you hear that, kids? Jesus said so.  


4. Anguish

“My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”
~ Mark 15:34

When Jesus cried out, “My God, My God, why have You forsake Me?” did He not understand what God was doing? 

Was He suddenly confused in His anguish? 

Absolutely not.

In all of Christ’s humanity, He never lost His deity.

When He humbled Himself and took on the physical form of man, He laid aside His rights, not His divinity.

He submitted His rights even to death on a cross, but He never lost sight of His purpose or God’s plan.

Yes, He suffered terrible anguish in His body from the agony of the cross and the flogging He endured beforehand.

He also suffered in His soul, as He carried the crushing weight of our despised sin.

But Jesus wasn’t confused. He was quoting the first verse in Psalm 22.

Psalm 22 is filled with prophecies about Him, the Messiah, the Promised Savior. Every Jewish leader listening to Him knew that psalm.

By quoting that verse, Jesus declared that Psalm 22 spoke of Him. 

Earlier in His ministry, Jesus had told the Jewish leaders that Moses wrote about Him. (John 5:46) In this one prayer, He revealed the Psalmists did as well. 

What this means for us today:

In these words, Christ settles forever the question, “Does God really love me? Do I really matter?” 

The answer is a resounding, “Yes.”

Which of us would hand over our own beloved son to be tortured and forsaken for our friends, much less our enemies?

Who among us would pour out their own fierce wrath upon their beloved only son for the sin of those who spit on him and mocked him? 

God did. (Romans 5:10)

And which of us would be willing to endure such torment for those who don’t deserve it?

Jesus was. (Hebrews 12:2)

Yes, God really loves you. 

And, yes, you really matter to Christ.


5. Suffering

“I am thirsty.”
~ John 19:28

In Christ’s humanity, His body was ready to give out. It suffered intense physical thirst.

In Psalm 22, God pointed to this moment.

“My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to my jaws; you lay me in the dust of death.”
~ Psalm 22:15

Through King David, God prophecized that Jesus would drink bitterness.

“…for my thirst they gave me sour wine to drink.”
~ Psalm 69:21

What this means for us today:

Man can live a long time without food, although it wouldn’t be fun. But man cannot live long without water. 

Jesus suffered agonizing physical thirst that spoke to our spiritual thirst. 

Earlier in His ministry, Jesus spoke of spiritual thirst to the Samaritan woman at the well.

He said to her, “Give Me a drink.” (John 4:7)

She was surprised by this for many reasons and was drawn into a conversation with Christ. In a way that only Jesus can do, He told her about Himself. 

“Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”
John 4:13-14

We’re all created as spiritual beings. And without Christ–the Living Water–our spiritual thirst can never be quenched. And we can never truly live.

Without Him, we’ll merely survive until we die. Eternally.

With Him, rivers of living water spring up from us to eternal life, and we will never thirst again. 


6. Victory

“It is finished!”
~ John 19:30

What God begins, He finishes. Period. 

Christ accomplished our salvation. The terrible price had been paid on the cross. 

From that moment in the Garden of Eden when the crunch of rebellion was heard ‘round the world, all of heaven and earth longed to hear these three words spoken.

“It is finished!” 

Through these three final words uttered on the cross, Christ expressed what every person longs to hear.

“I love you!” 

What this means for us today:

Everything you need for salvation has already been accomplished.

All you need to do is accept Jesus’ gift of salvation. You need to do anything to earn it. No good deeds or special works.

You can’t earn it. You don’t have it in you because you’ve got sin in you instead.

Simply:

Admit you’re a natural born sinner with no hope of ever being free of your sin apart from Christ,

Believe in your heart that Jesus paid for all your sin on the cross, and

Confess Him as your Lord,

You will be saved. 

Jesus finished the work of salvation on the cross. Accept it. Receive it. Enjoy it.

“It is finished!”  


7. Joy

“Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit!”
~ Luke 23:46
 

Just like Christ’s first words on the cross, His last words were a prayer to God.

In His words, we see the beauty of the perfect relationship between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Jesus' Last Seven Words On the Cross and What They Mean For Us Today (via www.jeanwilund.com) #Easter #GoodFridayWe also see the proof that Jesus truly gave His life. No one took it. 

His disciple Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus to the Jewish leaders. 

The leaders demanded Pilate crucify Him. 

Pilate handed Jesus over to the Roman guards. 

The Roman guards nailed Jesus to the cross. 

But no one took His life. 

Jesus chose the exact moment when He would die. 

After declaring, “It is finished,” Jesus prayed, “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.” 

Then He bowed His head and gave up His life. 

Scripture doesn’t say He passed away, thus His head fell forward. 

It says, “He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.” ~ John 19:30

What a powerful display of Christ’s divinity. Even as He suffered the deepest agony possible, He remained sovereign over all, perfect in all His ways.

The agony was behind Him. The joy before Him. Jesus said His last words and then entered into His joy.

What this means for us today:

The Bible says it best.

“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2

These were Jesus’ Last Seven Words before He gave His life on the cross.
But this is not the end of the story.

Today is Friday, but Sunday’s coming!


If you could control the moment you died, what would your last words be? #Jesus #Easter Click To Tweet


NOTE: Just to be clear, Jesus’ last seven words on the cross weren’t actually His “last words” because He’s never going to have “last words.” He rose from the dead and lives — and speaks — forevermore.





Is That Your Final Answer?

Is That Your Final Answer? Just wondering with Billy Graham, Regis Philbin, & Jean Wilund via www.InspireAFire.com Billy Graham got me wondering.

I read Billy’s final My Answer column, and he got me wondering.

What if God set Regis Philbin of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” fame (remember that show?) outside heaven’s doors with one final question and four multiple choice answers?

What would your final answer be? 

I talk about both over at www.InspireAFire.com today.

Check it out by clicking on the photo or the link.

Thanks!




Jesus Keeps His Appointments on CBN.com

Jesus Keeps His Appointments on CBN.com

I admit that title may be a bit confusing.

It sounds like Jesus only keeps His appointments on CBN.com. And what kind of appointments does He have there anyway?

Let me clear this up. Jesus Keeps His Appointments is a devotion I wrote for CBN.com — and you.

Check it out. You may even relate to an experience I share, although I hope not my exact experience. 

But surely I’m not the only person who’s envisioned authorities notifying the Department of Social Services about their parenting skills — or lack thereof. 

Click on this link to read the devotion and find out about my parenting skills and Jesus’ appointments:

Jesus Keeps His Appointments on CBN.com

And while you’re there, check out some of their other great devotions and articles. 

May you discover the faithfulness of Christ today!

Jesus Keeps His Appointments on CBN.com. #Jesus #Devotion @CBNOnline Click To Tweet

If you’d like to share it on Pinterest:




Christ is Calling us to Receive His Salvation. Here’s How.

How to Receive Salvation from sin through Jesus Christ (via www.JeanWilund.com)

If you’ve never chosen to trust in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, to pay for your sin, or even really understood what that means, let me explain. 

First, we need to understand why we even need salvation.

The Problem


Sin is the problem.

Sin is the heart attitude that says, “God’s not the boss of me. I do as I please.” It sets itself against God basically saying, “I don’t need you. I decide for myself what is good, what is evil, and how I will live my life. I will be my own god.” 

Sin is opposed to God and separates us from Him. 

It started in the beginning of time when Adam and Eve, the first man and woman, met God’s enemy Satan.

Satan was once one of God’s most majestic heavenly beings, but he let pride rise in his heart. He set his sights on taking over God’s position as Ruler and raised an army of like-minded angelic beings to form a coupe. But his plan failed and God threw him out of heaven. (Isaiah 14:13-14, Luke 10:18)

With his heart hardened against God, Satan determined to hurt God any way he could.

He’d already learned he couldn’t go after God physically. But he found an opportunity to hurt God in another way when he saw Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.

He’d hurt who God loves. He’d hurt Adam and Eve.

Of course, he surely knew if he physically attacked them, God would just protect them. So he went after their minds instead — their God-given free will.

He’d tempt them to doubt God’s goodness and His right to rule in their lives. He’d turn them against God. 

Satan tempted Adam and Eve to believe God was lying to them when He warned them not to eat the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil because it would lead to their death. (Genesis 2:16-17, Genesis 3:4-5)

Adam and Eve swallowed Satan’s lie and rebelled against God. They said in their hearts, “God’s not the boss of me. I do as I please.” And they ate the fruit. (Genesis 3:6)

Their rebellion brought sin and death into the world. (Romans 5:12)

Sin, a heart that sets itself up as God. (James 1:13-15)

Death, separation from God, who is Life and the giver of Life. (2 Thessalonians 1:9)

To be clear, it wasn’t the fruit that led to sin and death. It was their rebelling against God and doing what he’d said not to do that brought in sin and death.

And, yes, “They started it.” But no doubt, we would’ve done the same thing. 

As a result, man’s nature changed into a sinful nature and passed down to all generations. Bleh.

We’re all born with that sin nature, and we’re quick to choose it, too.

Every toddler loves to say, “No!” They didn’t have to be taught that.

It’s born in us through our sin nature to rebel against being ruled.

The worst part of all this is that because sin leads to death — separation from God — we’re all condemned to die and spend eternity apart from God in hell.

Hell is a place God created for Satan and his demons. (Matthew 25:41) They want no part of God, so God is giving them exactly what they want.

Anyone who rejects God’s offer of salvation will get exactly what they want, too. He won’t save them. Instead, they’ll be sent to the place where they will be forever apart from God. 

Hell won’t be a kingdom ruled by Satan where anything goes. No, Satan won’t rule anything, for Satan will be just like them. Dying but never dead, suffering and never saved, forever apart from the Light and the Life. (Revelation 20:10)

That’s a problem. A grave problem.

The Answer


Long before God ever created us, He knew we’d rebel. So, even before the beginning, He planned our salvation from sin through His Son, Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 1:4)

Jesus offers us a trade. His life for our sin. (Galatians 1:4)

Jesus came down to earth, lived a perfect life free of all sin, went to the cross, took our sins upon Himself, and died, paying the full penalty for all sin for all time. (Romans 6:23, Philippians 2:5-11, 2 Corinthians 5:21)

It is finished. (John 19:30)

Through Jesus Christ, everyone who trusts in Him receives forgiveness of their sin and eternal life with Him in heaven. (John 3:16) Not to mention abundant life on earth (John 10:10), which is not to say we won’t have problems. (John 16:33) We’ll have plenty of them, but God gives His Holy Spirit to all who trust in Christ to empower us to experience Christ’s presence, power, and peace even in the worst of times. (Ephesians 1:13)

Plus we’re given a new nature — a divine nature. (2 Corinthians 5:17, 2 Peter 1:3-4)

Our sin nature will continue to poke up its head like an annoying — and at times, dangerous — snake, but our new nature has the power to defeat our sin nature every time. (I John 4:4, Romans 6:14)

Accept Christ’s Gift — Your Salvation & His Nature


We all are born with the problem of sin, but Christ has given us the answer — the free gift of salvation.

Now it’s simply a matter of accepting that free gift from Him. It doesn’t get any easier. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Except, that means admitting you’re a sinner in need of a Savior, and that’s not always easy. We don’t like to admit we’re sinners. We don’t like appear weak or in need of anything.

Don’t let pride or shame keep you from receiving salvation.

There’s no guilt, shame, or condemnation for anyone in Christ. (Romans 8:1)

He showers mercy and grace upon everyone who trusts in Him. (Hebrews 4:16)

Accept His free gift. Accept eternal life in Jesus Christ. (Romans 10:9-10)

There’s No Non-Choice Option


Choosing not to accept Christ’s salvation is choosing to reject His salvation and be separated from Him eternally.

There are only two choices: Christ and eternal life or Not Christ and eternal death. Christ is the only way to heaven. The only way to God. The only way to life. (John 14:6)

I know people who believe this is arrogant to say that Christ is the only way. But this is an example of the heart that sets itself up as God. It’s saying, “No one will tell me how to get to heaven. I’ll get there any way I want.”

There is only one God and only one way to be restored to Him. Jesus Christ.

If you choose not to choose, you’ve chosen to reject Jesus Christ and your salvation. You’ve chosen hell. 

Believe, Confess, and Receive


Salvation is as simple as believing, asking, and receiving. (Romans 10:9-10)

Believe in your heart that you’re a sinner who needs a Savior. Believe Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died to pay for your sins, defeated sin and death on the cross for you, and rose back to life.

Confess Jesus Christ as Lord. Ask Him to come into your life and be both your Savior and your Lord.

Receive your free gift of salvation.

that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.
-Romans 10:9-10 NASB

Saved By Grace Through Faith Alone


How to Receive Salvation from sin through Christ (via www.JeanWilund.com)“Praying the Prayer” isn’t what saves.

Anyone can say the words. They’re not magic.

It’s God’s grace through your faith that saves you — faith that what you’re saying is Truth, and Jesus really is everything He says He is, and He’s able to save you. That’s what saves you. Not some action. Not some magic words.  

Christ saves by His grace through our faith in what He did on the cross.

That’s it. 

We can’t earn our salvation. We’d have to be perfect, and we missed that before we were even born.

Trust in Christ’s finished work on the cross alone for your salvation, and you’ll be saved. Period.

It’s not Christ plus baptism (although baptism is an important next step in acknowledging your faith).

It’s not Christ plus anything. It’s faith in Christ alone.

At the moment of salvation, the Holy Spirit takes up residence in your heart and adopts you into the Kingdom of God. You’re a child of God and co-heir with Christ. (Romans 8:15, 2 Corinthians 1:22, Romans 8:17)

And when your time on earth is through, you’ll walk right into heaven.(Luke 23:43) AMEN!

Choose Christ today. He loves you, and He’s calling you to salvation.

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
-Ephesians 2:8-9 NASB


If you’ve decided to accept God’s gift of salvation, I’d love to hear from you. Or if you have any questions, I’d love to answer them the best I can. Leave me a comment or send me an email.

And check out other posts online to help get you started in your life with Christ or answer more questions.

If you’re reading this in the email, click the picture above or the “Read More” to go to my blog. And to share this post! Please share!


To learn how to begin the Christian life, check out this post: 

Click to read post: That Moment When Most Christians Blow It (Lessons from Watchman Nee's Classic, "Sit, Walk, Stand") - Part One: SIT!

Or to understand the secret to living free in Christ, check out this post:

"The Exchanged Life" by Hudson Taylor - (Chapter and PDF) "Instead of bondage, liberty; instead of failure, quiet victories within; instead of fear and weakness, a restful sense of sufficiency in Another." www.jeanwilund.com,

God calls us to #salvation through #Jesus. Learn how and what that even means here. Click To Tweet


(Mark 1:15, John 1:12-13, 6:40 and 17:6-8, Romans 5:8-10, 8:16-17 and 10:9-13, II Corinthians 5:21, 2 Peter 3:9)




Who Am I? According to God, Romper Room & Casting Crowns

Who am I that God would notice me? Get a fresh perspective and a fun flashback in time to the days of Romper Room. Think and laugh with me, and listen to Casting Crowns' "Who Am I?" via www.JeanWilund.comWho Am I?


When I was about five-years-old I stared at the TV screen and waited for Miss Nancy to notice me, but she never did.

All those years in the early ’70’s of watching and waiting, but Miss Sally, the hostess of the TV show Romper Room, never saw me.

Who Am I? According to God, Romper Room, and Casting Crowns? via www.JeanWilund.com

Each week she held up her Magic Mirror, looked through it, and spoke these words into TV Land:  

“Romper, stomper, bomper boo.
Tell me, tell me, tell me, do.
Magic Mirror, tell me today,
did my friends at home have fun at play?”

I leaned in close to make it easier for her to see me in her mirror.

“I see my friend Larry and Michael and Suzy at home,” she said. “I see Annie and Beverly and John…” 

Each week Miss Sally mentioned the different friends she saw. But never me. 

Five-year-old Jean sighed. I guess I’m not special enough to be seen.

God Sees Me


Around middle school, I began to wonder if God could see me.

Was I worth even looking for? He’s got so many people to look at, I reasoned. Where do I rank?

I called out to Him to see if He’d look my way. I felt Him notice me. I felt Him see me.

It’s hard to explain that feeling, but it’s a bit like when you’re in a crowded room and “feel” someone looking at you and turn to discover you were right. 

I was amazed and excited that God answered my call.

Later, I was even more amazed and excited to learn I’d been wrong.

God hadn’t responded to my call. I’d responded to His.

there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God.
-Romans 3:11 NIV

We love, because He first loved us.
-I John 4:19 NASB

No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.
-John 6:44 ESV

Wonder of wonders, the God of the universe hadn’t responded to my call. He’d initiated it. 

He’d reached down into the United States and onto the top bunk of an upstairs bedroom in Marietta, GA and spoken to my heart.

I see you, Jean. And I love you.

Miss Sally may never have seen me, but God did.

God Sees You


Have you had thoughts about God?

If so, that’s God calling you. Even if you’ve had bad thoughts about Him. It’s still you responding to Him reaching into your heart and calling you to Himself.

He can handle our thoughts — good or bad. He’s not threatened.

Don’t get me wrong. God is not worthy of our bad thoughts. He’s worthy of nothing but worship and praise. But He knows our thoughts. We’re not hiding anything from Him. 

Who am I? Wrong Question, Right Proclamation


Who am I? is the wrong question, but it’s the perfect proclamation.

The words are the same. The attitude is not.

When we ask the question, “Who am I?” we ‘re focused on ourselves — our faults, mistakes, and bad choices. All the blehs in our life.

When we proclaim, “Who am I?” we stand amazed at the grace and mercy of God. We’re focused on the One who says from heaven, “I see all that is in you and love you still. You are mine.” 

What is man, that you make so much of him, and that you set your heart on him, 
-Job 7:17 ESV

what is man that You remember him, the son of man that You look after him?
-Psalm 8:4 HCSB

Casting Crowns


The band Casting Crowns doesn’t question Who Am I? in their song. They proclaim it. 

Listen to their song here with this fresh perspective.

Who am I? I am Yours!

By the way, God doesn’t need a magic mirror to see us, which is good because apparently, they’re not real. 

 


They say, Sharing is Caring. Feel free to “care” a lot. Share on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter… And leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you.

Who Am I? (According to God, Romper Room, and @CastingCrowns) #MondayMusic #GodLovesYou Click To Tweet